Rudyard Kipling Sculpture Project


A statue of Rudyard Kipling has been commissioned subject to the funding being raised by public donation. It will show Rudyard Kipling seated on a bench and will be located prominently in Burwash High Street. Both the statue and the bench will be cast in bronze.

This will celebrate the work of Kipling and also encourage more of the many visitors to Batemans to come into the wonderful village itself. It is hoped that the increased footfall will help to sustain all the existing businesses and employment.



Creating Kipling

The following is a diary of the day-to-day process of creating the Kipling sculpture. Updates will happen at regular intervals and hopefully you will get a sense of the development from beginning to end.


Sunday, 6th May 2018 —
The first step, after finding the right model to sit as Kipling, was to make the armature. It's always very tense trying to make sure it’s exactly right. It's getting there.


Monday, 7th May 2018 —
Measuring and re-measuring again. Had to tilt the body up with wedges to raise the shoulders away from the back. Started putting the clay on and I've now got something to work with.


Wednesday, 9th May 2018 —
After a few days of applying the clay and sculpting, Kipling has started to appear. Leaving it to dry out as well as working on making the head right.


Friday, 11th May 2018
My brilliant and patient model Nick has been sitting for me so I can get the body shape and pose of Kipling just right. This day was mainly spent faffing around with the trouser legs. Still not right and very frustrating. (Photo by Ann Chown).


Sunday, 13th May 2018 —
Concentrated on the head today. Got Kipling’s hat size and had to reduce his head down quite a bit. Then realised the body was just too big, so …. Arms off! Bulked out legs too.


Monday, 14th May 2018 —
A long day today. Having worked on the sleeves, at the end of the day I realised the arms are too long now! There was nothing else for it. I had to do them again.


Tuesday, 15th May 2018 —
Another long day. I'm happy with the progress. I think it’s getting there. The glasses definitely help with bringing the character out. I can see Kipling clearly now.


Wednesday, 16th May 2018 —
Changed the arms again! I needed help and got it from a lovely group of friends. Amy from Batemans, Mary Clarke and Claire Walford, Philippa Evans and family… great help, especially Mary.


Thursday, 17th May —
Mainly head work today. Still not sure about the shoulders.  Looking forward to getting feedback from John Walker of the Kipling society who is visiting soon.


Thursday, 17th May —
Today was also spent working on the feet and getting the shoes just right. You can see the before and after in the image above.


Friday, 18th May 2018 —
Big day today. I received the seal of approval for the sculpture from John Walker of the Kipling Society. Approved by Kipling Society, Batemans and Parish Council. Phew! He was also really helpful and said that Kipling had sloping shoulders – changed now and I feel much better.


Monday, 21st May 2018 —
I wasn't happy with the head as it was too big. I reduced  it in size and I'm so much happier with it. Also made the glasses wider and took the lenses out - what a difference! 


Thursday, 31st May 2018 —
The final stages of the process. Casting with the boys from Athens.I was allowed to help with the mould making and learnt so much from the professionals. 


Sunday, 1st June 2018 —
Very nearly there. Watching the team remove the moulds was both exciting and slightly nerve wracking. Always great to witness these experts at work. Next stop Athens.



26th June 2018
A fascinating vision of Kipling in pink wax pieces! The statue is being cast in bronze in Athens. Using the traditional lost wax process, it will be cast in sections and then put together and patinated there. Can’t wait to see it all put together.


23rd July 2018
Foundry VPtassis Panagiwths Tassis in Athens are doing a wonderful job. The excellent video below shows the first glimpse of Kipling in bronze.


Here are some of the images taken from an amazing video on facebook.


Portrait Head


15th August 2018
Arrived ahead of schedule is the portrait head of Kipling. What a great job VP Tassis have done with the casting. In addition to the unique statue, there will be an edition of 8 portrait heads available.


The Finished Statue

8th September 2018
I’ve just returned from Athens and the boys at VP Tassis have done an amazing job. Thank you.
Mr K should be coming home mid-October, although we still haven’t got a date for the grand unveiling!
Watch this space.

Kipling_Finished_03 2.jpg

The unveiling will take place in March 2019

Please check back here for more details nearer the time.



And finally…

The unveiling is going to take place soon, so Rudyard Kipling will be there for all to see on Burwash High Street from Saturday, 16th February onwards. Thank you Ann Chown for the lovely photographs.

Victoria Atkinson Rudyard Kipling 01.jpg
Victoria Atkinson Rudyard Kipling 02.jpg

If... I could only thank you properly

A few thank you's to the hard working members of the team. I couldn't have done it without you all.


Nick was the ever patient model (having to sit in the thick wool three piece suit during the hottest days of the year!)


Chris Hesketh supplied all the clay.


Peter (my wonderful husband!) made the armature, modelling stands and a lot more!! 


Shuna found the 1930s glasses for us to use


Ann Chown is responsible for all the fabulous black & white photography throughout.


Art & Tricha leant us the 1930s suit